Mozilla had recently announced new privacy focussed updates to its Firefox browser with Firefox version 69. It came with measures to block third-party tracking cookies as well as cryptomining by default.
Now, Firefox has built its own virtual private network.
Called the Firefox Private Network, this VPN is browser-based. This means that unlike other VPN apps around, it will not mask any activity that you do outside the Firefox browser. The idea behind Firefox Private Network is to provide you with the ability to mask your browser activity when you are on a public Wi-Fi network or just want to hide from ad-trackers.
This free feature is currently on beta and is only available for US users. For it to work, you will need to be logged in to you Firefox browser on your desktop or laptop. You can install the Firefox Private Network from here and click on that location pin type icon which shows up in your toolbar, to turn the VPN on or off.
According to the Firefox blog, here are the key features of the Firefox Private Network:
- Protection when in public Wi-Fi access points
- Internet protocol (IP) addresses are hidden, so it’s harder to track you
- Toggle switch on at any time
Mozilla will be logging in the feedback received from the community to improve on the functionality of the Firefox Private Network.
According to The Verge, which ran a test of the Firefox Private Network, a drop in the internet speeds was observed. Also, the reporter noticed that the IP address, although changed, was changed to another local suburb so he could still get served local ads.
Mozilla claims that this service will be free for the time being. This doesn’t rule out the fact that it could be paid later. There wasn’t any news on when this feature might be rolled out to other geographies.